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The Early Word on Umami Burger in Greenwich Village

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Umami Burger by Krieger

The first New York location of Adam Fleischman's LA-based Umami Burger chain opened a week and a half ago on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village, and the place has been packed ever since. The signature burger is one of the foodstuffs that people are lining up for and freaking out about this summer. You've heard Sietsema's take on the chain and its famous dish, now here's a roundup of what bloggers, Yelpers, and Chowhounders are saying about Umami Burger.

The Great News: One Yelper has only great things to say about Umami Burger: "I strongly believe New Yorkers are going to embrace Umami Burger for a very long time? THE SERVICE IS AMAZING. It was opening day but none of the employees were the slightest bit frazzled or angry? Everyone apologized for the wait!!... The Vintage Burger is an off-menu item. Off-menu items vary between locations and make Umami Burger less of a chain and more of a restaurant group? The Original Umami Burger is my favorite! This burger includes a hand-ground, medium rare patty that really doesn't need any help from additional garnishes; it is slightly crispy on the outside, crumbly and juicy on the inside, and well-seasoned throughout." [Yelp]

The Okay News: Yelper Sybil enjoys the Umami experience but isn't hooked: "Two of us went on the second day and had fried sweet potatoes (very good), a truffle burger and a regular burger. The staff was extraordinarily friendly and eager to help? It was fun and though they dress up the burgers, we agreed we didn't have to go back, both of us enjoying regular burgers more than these. The buns have a U on them, but weren't as good as other buns? It's an experience, but I didn't get hooked." [Yelp]

The Good News:The blogger behind Donuts4dinner comments on Umami Burger's quality, pricing, and how it is not a fast food burger: "You can tell these things aren't coming off some truck frozen because of the way they fall apart when you cut into them; they're not the homogeneous rounds of your traditional fast food burger joints. The patty was seared to a crust that was only dwarfed by the dried exterior of the pastrami. A sour relish countered the deep, rich flavors of the burger but the cheese added to them, so there was no escaping the umami. I'd heard complaints about the $12 price tag on these burgers, but I wasn't so offended; with fries, they're just a dollar-ish more expensive than, say, 5 Napkin Burger, and a whole lot less expensive than the burgers at The Spotted Pig and Minetta Tavern. And this was just plain delicious with that pastrami so thick and spicy it became the whole point of the burger? Owner Adam Fleischman says this isn't a Shake Shack rip-off, and he's right (even if there was a smashed burger a la Shake Shack's on the daily specials menu the day I visited)." [donuts4dinner]

The "Umami Dust" News: Yelper Jia raves about how the bread pulls the Umami Burger together: "Our server had briefed us on the specially sourced bread, made of milk and honey and formed via a strictly calculated bread-to-meat ratio. The result is something that tastes like Hawaiian enriched sweet rolls dipped in butter (I mean this in a GOOD way, lest you cringe...just let go of your BS health rules for a second...), and does NOT obstruct your path to the innards of house-ground beef, SHREDDED lettuce, and a thin slice of mushroom sealing in this 'umami dust' everyone is talking about." [Yelp]

The Bad News: One Chowhounder is not very impressed: "Totally underwhelmed with lunch yesterday. I had the original Umami Burger, which is topped with shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and a parmesan crisp. Sadly, there was exactly one tiny shiitake cap and one tiny roasted tomato slice. I tasted my wife's truffle burger and struggled to find any sense of truffle flavor. Sides were nothing special and quite small. I wouldn't be compelled to return for any of the dishes we had. Two burgers and three sides put us at $48 with tax and tip. I don't know how that's covering a gap in price points on good burgers, especially if you consider the size" [Chowhound]


The "Not Worth the Wait" News: The blogger from Writing With My Mouth Full doesn't think Umami Burger is worth the three hour long wait: "We ended up ordering four different burgers to taste as much as we can: the original Umami with shitake mushroom and Parmesan crisp, the Truffle Burger, the Manly with beer-cheddar cheese and bacon lardon, plus the duck special. They were all good but it starts to get difficult to tell them apart when you've been holding out for 3 hours. The truffle and Parmesan flavor from the 2 burgers stood out, but everything else melded and tasted like, oh hey, regular (but juicy) burgers! Skip the duck with peach-apple chutney, though. The chutney was a tad too sweet and just wasn't burger material to me...Don't miss the fries and tots as sides but feel free to skip the special sauces to get more of the unadulterated meat taste of the burgers. So was Umami worth the 3-hour wait? Of course not; nothing ever is." [writingwithmymouthfull]

The Sweet News: According to Yelp user Mike, an Umami Burger ice cream sandwich is the perfect way to end your visit: "?Lastly, I had to finish with some dessert, and was surprised to find one of the best ice cream sandwiches I've ever had, no exaggeration. Made by The Good Batch, I got the Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich? The thin, crispy cookies held together perfectly the thick slab of chocolate ice cream and generous chunks of peanut butter." [Yelp]

The "Transformative" News: A Foursquare tipster recommends sticking to The Original burger: "Stick. To. The. Original! The Truffle Burger is a bit too greasy and muted and the Manly is slightly overpowered by the bacon. The Original is truly a transformative burger experience: Umamish!" [Foursquare]

· All Coverage of Umami Burger [~ENY~]

Umami Burger

432 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011 212-677-8626

Umami Burger

432 6th Ave., New York, NY

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